Layla Trawick started randomly stabbing people with a blade about the size of a kitchen knife at about 12:45 p.m., Los Angeles sheriff's Sgt. Josh Mankini said. The 35-year-old Antioch woman was arrested with the help of private security guards and booked on suspicion of attempted murder.
Several shoppers who saw off-duty deputy Clay Grant pull out his weapon feared he was a gunman and began running and screaming, adding to the sense of panic, Mankini said.
"If he wasn't there, who knows? Someone would be dead right now," Mankini said. "He had no communication with outside law enforcement. He's just some guy doing his shopping. We're pretty proud of him."
Three women and a man were stabbed and taken to area hospitals, Mankini said. One of the victims was stabbed in the neck and shoulder.
Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Frederick Stowers said one victim was in critical condition. Authorities did not immediately know the conditions of the others.
Several shoppers who saw the deputy pull out his weapon feared he may be a gunman, adding to the sense of panic, Mankini said.
Mankini said Grant, a five-year veteran of the department, was authorized to have a weapon in the store.
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